What's inside the camera bag of White House photographer Pete Souza

Photographer-in-chief.

Chief White House Photographer Pete Souza uses this gear to photograph the president every day.
Chief White House Photographer Pete Souza packs light to photograph the president.Sam Kaplan

Your Instagram will never be as cool as Pete Souza’s. He travels the world with the president—shooting candids of Angela Merkel (in virtual-reality goggles) and Steph Curry (cringing in board-game defeat as Obama cheers). His globe-trotting job is 24/7. For the ever-shifting circumstances, he has the ultimate stripped-down kit, shown above, to perform in every condition. Even if you’re not POTUS-worthy, you would do well to shoot with these.

Two Canon 5D Mark III's

Two Canon 5D Mark III's

Canon 5D Mark III Canon’s flagship camera body is a photojournalism standard. Souza carries two, and almost always uses them in silent mode to reduce shutter sound during sensitive moments.Sam Kaplan
Canon 135mm f/2.0 L (left) and 35mm f/1.4 L

Canon 135mm f/2.0 L (left) and 35mm f/1.4 L

These lenses don't zoom, but they take advantage of more available light. The 35mm is for up close, and the 135mm is for when Souza needs to keep his distance.Sam Kaplan
Canon 24-70 F/2.8 L II

Canon 24-70 F/2.8 L II

Souza didn’t trust Canon’s first 24-70 lens. But the second generation of the lens adds three low-distortion internal glass elements, and now it’s his primary shooter.Sam Kaplan
Fujifilm X100T

Fujifilm X100T

In his downtime, Souza prefers the compact Fujifilm X100S (Fuji’s since updated to the faster-focusing X100T). It has the same large DSLR sensor but housed in a slimmer body.Sam Kaplan

This article was originally published in the July/August 2016 issue of Popular Science, under the title "Photog In Chief."

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